How Should the News Media Deal with Political Smears?

Written by JoAnn Chateau

In the course of covering the news, media outlets must sometimes address political smear tactics. In the video below, progressive commentator Jimmy Dore contrasts two such examples.

In the first clip, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had been smeared by his political opponents for “betraying his country.” The BBC host grills his Conservative guest on whether or not the accusations have any substance.

In the second clip, the opposition had charged 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein with political gain resulting from Russian interference. The MSNBC anchor grills Stein on whether the Russians did, indeed, boost her 2016 campaign results.

These illustrations represent two very different approaches to getting the real story. Would you prefer that news media challenge the veracity of allegations? Or would you rather that political figures defend themselves from allegations? Which method of questioning is more likely to uncover the truth? Do you think Jimmy Dore is right to assert that McCarthyism is alive and well?

Falsehood is easy, truth so difficult.

~ George Elliot

Listening to the News


About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • The veracity of information in the media industry should always be challenged.

    The problem in these days of widespread corporate control is that the challenges usually have an agenda attached to them. Media outlets often attack the validity of news that makes obvious sense considering the people (and interests) involved and leave alone information which is obviously paid for by those who have something to gain.

  • Dore makes a valid point. It would be great for our democracy if our news media challenged the veracity of allegations. They don’t because they’re promoting their own agenda. For this reason, I’ve long stopped watching our national TV news channels.

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